Lady Gaga Tells Oprah How She Made It Through Her “Psychotic Break”

By | Food for thought, inspiring, Inspiring Celebrities, lady gaga, mental health, news, oprah, self

Lady Gaga has never been one to shy away from the tough topics, and she got seriously intimate and real this past week when she was interviewed by Oprah during the kickoff event of her wellness tour, 2020 Vision: Your Life In Focus.

Gaga, who is now sporting shocking pink hair, cut short her own vacation to join Oprah and open up about mental health.  

The pop star, who first rose to fame with her wild pop music and fashion, explained her new perspective: “The most shocking thing I can possibly do is be completely vulnerable and honest with you about my life, what I’ve been through, the struggles that I’ve seen that I have also been a part of, and share that with the world so that I can help other people who are suffering.”

Gaga opened up about her mental health struggles

In conversation with Oprah, Lady Gaga confessed to having suffered a psychotic break in the past due to PTSD that stepped from a serious trauma she experienced at the age of 19.

She was starkly honest about what that felt like: “This part of the brain where you stay centered and you don’t disassociate, right? It slammed down… It’s very difficult to describe what it feels like other than that you first are completely tingling from head to toe and then you go numb, but what is essentially happening is that the brain goes, ‘That’s enough. I don’t want to think about this anymore. I don’t want to feel this anymore.’ Boom. You break from reality as we know it.”

Gaga shared her experiences in an effort to destigmatize mental health struggles and to encourage those who are suffering to seek medical treatment.

Where her PTSD came from

She gave a birds-eye view into how she experiences PTSD and how she mistook her chronic illness, fibromyalgia, which afflicts her with frequent, agonizing physical pain for a symptom of that trauma.

Gaga told Oprah, “I was raped repeatedly when I was 19 years old, and I also developed PTSD as a result of being raped and not processing that trauma.” She explained, “I did not have a therapist, I did not have a psychiatrist, I did not have a doctor help me through it. All of a sudden, I started to experience this incredible, intense pain throughout my entire body that mimicked, actually, the illness that I felt after I was raped.”

How she handles it all


Lady Gaga says she wouldn’t be where she is today without truly addressing the pain and illness she was experiencing.

She credits, “Medicine, therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), cognitive therapy,” as well as transcendental meditation, daily exercise, and “radical acceptance.”

It’s also about accepting there’s something bigger than yourself.

“I consider myself a spiritual, religious woman. I don’t go to church every Sunday but I do pray every day,” she said.”All the things I’ve been through, I think they were supposed to happen. I was supposed to go through this.

“I think it happened because God was saying to me, ‘I’m going to show you pain, and then you’re going to help other people who are in pain because you’re going to understand it.’ Now when I see someone in pain, I can’t look away.”

Lady Gaga’s courage in sharing her story and her struggles is a powerful reminder that we can get through all kinds of suffering if only we are able to seek help. Once we get healthier and grow even stronger, we’ll be in the best position possible not just to achieve our dreams but to help others in pain as well.

More inspiring celebrities:

Relationship Goals: Why Oprah Winfrey and Boyfriend Stedman Graham Make a Strong Case for Unconventional Romance

By | Food for thought, Life, oprah, relationship goals, relationships

Welcome to #RelationshipGoals, where we’re giving the stage to the power couples we admire. From admirable long-term relationships to inspirational newlyweds, these are the couples we love and hope to take cues from in our own relationships.

The year was 1986, the year Ferris Bueller took a day off, Kenny Loggins warned us of the Danger Zone, and The Oprah Winfrey Show exploded onto the daytime talk scene.

But just before the debut of Oprah’s now legendary talk show, another memorable event occurred at a charity event in Chicago.

It was here that one Stedman Graham, a former athelete and founder of the nonprofit Athletes Against Drugs, met Oprah Winfrey, a once aspiring newscaster and then relatively unknown host of the local talk show AM Chicago, sparking one of the most iconic — and famously private — relationships in modern history.

Why Oprah Winfrey and Stedman Graham are a true power couple


Oprah and Stedman’s relationship is considered by many as perhaps the most unconventional of high-profile relationships today.

Ferociously private and refreshingly untraditional, from the very beginning they allowed each other to be who they were and grew to support one another’s endeavors without placing expectations on each other.

It took nearly six years of dating, said Oprah in a 1992 interview with People, before Stedman started keeping “a toothbrush at my apartment.”

By that time Oprah Winfrey had become just “Oprah” and was already America’s closest thing to royalty.

But she didn’t let the fame go to her head, and Graham, a traditional man by all accounts, was nothing but supportive and encouraging of his strong and successful female partner along their journey, both keys to a relationship that would eventually span more than three decades.

Through the years, they battled everything from tabloid rumors — including a false story published in The Chicago Sun-Times about Graham’s falsly alleged affair, which was later redacted with an apology from the paper — to a cancelled engagement and the media criticism that followed.

In an interview with Access Hollywood, Oprah admitted considering marriage again after attending Tina Turner’s wedding to longtime partner Edwin Bach in July of 2013.

“Because Tina was like, ‘Oprah, you need to do this. You need to do it.’ I was just thinking, ‘Well, OK, would things really be different?’ And no, I don’t think so.”

Never one to follow the status quo, Oprah’s union with Stedman has always been unconventional. Instead of fighting it, they’ve found their groove and are happier and stronger for it.

She says that if she and Stedman had gotten married, it likely wouldn’t have worked out because of how unusual their relationship is in contrast with the expectations that go along with marriage.

“If you ever interviewed him, he would tell you that had we married, we would not be together today,” said Oprah. “Because he’s a traditional man and this is a very untraditional relationship.”

All the times they inspired us with their love


What has made Oprah and Stedman’s relationship from the beginning is perhaps even more Stedman himself than anything.

Being a traditional man in a relationship with a woman as strong, wealthy, and successful as Oprah isn’t easy, but Stedman’s character shines when speaking about his longtime love.

In a 2015 segment on Oprah’s Own network, Stedman opened up about his relationship to the icon.

“I want her to succeed and be as successful as she possibly can, so I encourage that,” said Stedman. “That’s not always an easy thing to do when you’re a man in a relationship with a very powerful woman, and so, I’m not threatened by her fame or her success or her money or all of that — that’s who she is. It has nothing to do with how I define myself.”

And though the two rarely make public appearances with one another (one of the most famous talking points of their relationship, at least in terms of media coverage), Graham is always there when it really matters.

Graham was there when Oprah received the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at the 1998 Academy Awards, the Presidential Medal of Freedom from former President Barack Obama in 2013, and most recently when the HFPA presented her with the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the 75th Annual Golden Globes in January of 2018.

“Stedman, you’re the sweetest man, with the greatest integrity,” said Winfrey while accepting the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at the 1998 Oscars. “Thank you for helping me to be everything that I am, and all that is to come.”

Their biggest relationship takeaway


Often, in relationships with strong personalities, when one person becomes successful it can create a rift between the two where resentment, jealousy, and anger form.

It takes a certain kind of strength of character and dedication to one another for a relationship to work when this happens, such as in the case of Oprah’s meteoric rise to fame. But Oprah and Stedman don’t just make it work, they derive strength from pushing one another to realize their best self.

“It really amazes me that I got to be around a woman who changes people’s lives every day and who also takes her own lunch to work,” said Graham when he took the stage at Chicago’s United Center for the “Oprah Winfrey Surprise Spectacular”, a star-studded goodbye event to celebrate the end of Oprah’s iconic daytime talk show.

He continued:

I can’t believe that a colored girl from the backwoods of Mississippi has done all that you have done. But what is really amazing is that you have done this through God’s amazing grace. I love you for making the difference in my life.

Winfrey echoed her love and appreciation for Graham in a 2008 interview with E! News stating, “I happen to be with a man who has always appreciated the fact that I was…considered a powerful person…[He’s] not trying to crowd in on it, not competing with it. He knows how to hold his own.”

Other inspiring love stories:

Oprah Shares the Sad, Beautiful Story About Her Mother’s Last Days, Shows How Universal Grief Is

By | Celebrities, Food for thought, Inspiring Stories, life lessons, love, oprah, Oprah Winfrey

Oprah has long been a guiding force for so many of us. But even our greatest muses can often use some guidance.

Oprah Winfrey with mom Vernita Lee/OWN Communications

On Thanksgiving Day, Oprah Winfrey’s mother, Vernita Lee, 83 died at home in Milwaukee, surrounded by family. In the end, Oprah was able to spend some time with her mom, but she struggled with saying goodbye.

“In hospice care they have a little book about the little conversations,” Winfrey told People. “I thought, ‘Isn’t this strange? I am Oprah Winfrey, and I’m reading a hospice care book on what to say at the end.’”

I thought, ‘Isn’t this strange? I am Oprah Winfrey, and I’m reading a hospice care book on what to say at the end.’

“I just thought, ‘What is the truth for me? There isn’t going to be an answer in a book. What is it that I need to say?’ I was praying for a way in.”

In the end, she found what worked for her.

“This is the beauty of my life,” she says. “There’s not a thing that happens to me, that I don’t look at it as a teaching, learning, experience. I knew my mother was dying. I got a call from my sister (Patricia, who Lee gave up for adoption in 1963) that she thought it was the end. I was planning to go to launch Michelle Obama’s book, Becoming, in Chicago. I hopped on a plane and I went early—I surprised my mother.”

“She’s sitting in this little room—she loves sitting in this room where it’s 80 degrees,” Winfrey says. “She just watches TV all day… She’s had nurses and so forth over the years. Even when she didn’t need nurses, she’s had nurses. She just liked having all these people.”

I said, ‘I don’t know if you’re going to make it. Do you think you’re going to make it?’ She said, ‘I don’t think I am.’ I had a conversation with her about what that felt like, what it felt like to be near the end. I started telling all the people who cared about her that, ‘She knows it’s the end, so, if you want to say goodbye, you should come and say goodbye.’”

“And that’s what happened. People would come in. She would tear up when she saw them. You could see the appreciation and love she felt for them. Then, I said to her, ‘What a wonderful thing to be able to say goodbye,’ because she’s completely coherent and perfectly understanding everything.”

“I waited for a way to say what I wanted to say,” she says. “I couldn’t find it that day. The next morning I woke up, and I was actually praying for, ‘What is a way I can have this conversation about the end? How do I close it?’ I just thought, ‘What is the truth for me? What is it that I need to say?

Searching for comfort and closure in music

Eventually, Winfrey turned to music, calling a friend, Wintley Phipps, who is a gospel singer. I thought, ‘What if I call Wintley and got him to sing ‘Precious Lord’ to her?’ Winfrey called Wintley, and got him on FaceTime. He sang ‘Precious Lord’ live to her from his kitchen table.”

She stayed with the music theme when she saw it bringing comfort to her mom, “I played another one of her favorite artists, Joshua Nelson, singing ‘How I Got Over.’ I could see that it opened her a little bit, because my mother’s been a very closed down person. I could see that the music gave me an opening to say what I needed to say.”

A moment of gratitude

“What I said was, ‘Thank you. Thank you, because I know it’s been hard for you. It was hard for you as a young girl having a baby, in Mississippi. No education. No training. No skills. Seventeen, you get pregnant with this baby. Lots of people would have told you to give that baby away. Lots of people would’ve told you to abort that baby. You didn’t do that. I know that was hard. I want you to know that no matter what, I know that you always did the best you knew how to do. And look how it turned out.’”

RELATED: Parents of Confident Kids Do These 7 Things Daily

Winfrey continues, “Then I told her, ‘You should be able to … you should go in peace.’ I told her because my mother has had diabetes. Three years ago she knew she should’ve had dialysis and she didn’t want to do it. It was her choice not to do it. I said (at the time), ‘You should do whatever your body tells you to do. Nobody’s going to force you to do what you don’t want to do.’ I said, ‘You made the best decision for you, but now your body’s shutting down. This is what’s happening. Your kidneys have shut down. Your organs are going to shut down. What you want it to be, what I want it to be, is as peaceful as possible.’”

Finding peace

“In that moment, my sister was in the room. My mother’s had real problems since my sister came back from the adoption. My sister said, ‘Please forgive yourself, because I’ve forgiven you for giving me away.’ It was just really sacred and beautiful. I would say to anybody—and if you live long enough, everybody goes through it—say the things that you need to say while the people are still alive, so that you are not one of those people living with regret about what you would’ve, should’ve, could’ve said.”

“I feel complete. I feel really, really moved by all the people who’ve reached out to me. I got a really lovely note, just yesterday, from Jimmy Fallon (whose mom Gloria died in 2017) saying, ‘My mom’s up there, too, so if your mom has a party, tell her to call my mom.’ I feel like it was as sacred and as blessed as a passing can be.”

None of us are ever ready for loss, but if it’s going to happen, being true to yourself and give yourself room to feel and grieve and say what you need to say will be the most comforting thing you can do.


Reconnect with your dreams and jumpstart your personal transformation with Goalcast’s new inspirational ebook, Explore Your Potential: Start the Journey to Your Dream Life.

Transformation doesn’t just happen. It takes a plan and a support system. This how-to guide is full of the top wisdom, tips, exercises, and success stories to inspire an old dream or create a new one.

Check out a teaser of what’s inside.

5 Lessons From Oprah on Living a More Meaningful Life

By | dreams, Food for thought, goals, happiness, life lessons, oprah, Self-Improvement, success


Since the debut of the Oprah Winfrey Show in 1986, Oprah has captured our attention and our hearts.

More than just a talk show host or savvy businesswoman, Oprah is someone who seeks to make an impact on the world ,and she continuously judges the quality of her life based on that impact.Jumpstart Your Journey: Oprah Winfrey quote on reaching your dream

She serves not only as an example of a great human being who has given the world far more than we can ever give her in return, but also as a gateway to other incredible human beings — the stories, lessons, and examples that we can use to learn and grow further.

Over the years, she’s shared countless invaluable insights that anyone can use to live a better and more meaningful life. I’ve personally used these lessons in my own life.

Check out the 5 most important ones below.

The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.

Oprah Winfrey (read more Oprah quotes)

1. Never stop learning

Something that has always been extraordinary to me about Oprah is that she always seems to be doing something new connected with self-development of some kind.

Whether it’s interviewing experts and notable people on her OWN show, Super Soul Sunday, or working with authorities such as Deepak Chopra on self-improvement programs and special events, she always seems to have something new going on that provides great value for her viewers and followers, and also helps her level up her own game.

I am a woman in process. I’m just trying like everybody else. I try to take every conflict, every experience, and learn from it. Life is never dull.

2. Passion is energy

Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.

I’ve written many times before that passion is a form of energy that moves us forward. It has a sort of power to make things that otherwise wouldn’t be possible happen.

With it, we can push through difficult times that otherwise would cause us to fall off track. Passion also gives us the power to create solutions to seemingly insurmountable problems.

Once you find your passion, the world opens up to you in an incredible way. So, take it from Oprah, find what fuels you, then follow it to the ends of Earth.

3. We all feel unworthy

Decades before Brene Brown would publish her groundbreaking research on self-worth and shame, Oprah spotted a trend that echoed Brown’s findings in the many people she interviewed through the years:

“The show has taught me there is a common thread that runs through all of our pain and all of our suffering, and that is unworthiness. Not feeling worthy enough to own the life you were created for.”

4. You need to truly love what you doOprah Winfrey on wealth and service: What's Your Legacy?

Clearly, most of us need to find a way to make a living. But whether you’d be hypothetically willing to do your work without getting paid for it is another question entirely. And that’s the question that really matters.

Ask yourself: Would you do what you do if you weren’t being paid for it? If your answer is yes, then you’re on the right path.

Oprah said it herself:

You know you are on the road to success if you would do your job, and not be paid for it.

Doing something we truly love is one of the primary ways to gain that passionate energy we talked about earlier. And it’s when we pursue the things we love that we can make incredible things happen in the world and realize success.

5. Use your own platform to create change

During the final episode of the Oprah Winfrey show, Oprah served one of her most valuable lessons of all, foreshadowing the future of the internet and digital platforms:

“Maybe it’s 20 people, maybe it’s 30 people, 40 people, your family, your friends, your neighbors, your classmates, your classroom, your co-workers. Wherever you are, that is your platform, your stage, your circle of influence. That is your talk show and that is where your power lies. In every way, in every day, you are showing people exactly who you are. You’re letting your life speak for you. And when you do that, you will receive in direct proportion to how you give in whatever platform you have.

My great wish for all of you who have allowed me to honor my calling through this show is that you carry whatever you’re supposed to be doing, carry that forward and don’t waste any more time. Start embracing the life that is calling you and use your life to serve the world.”


If you’ve made it this far and you’re craving a transformation of your own, we can help you get there.
Jumpstart your personal transformation and get on track to build your best life with Goalcast’s new inspirational ebook, Explore Your Potential: Start the Journey to Your Dream Life.
Transformation doesn’t just happen. It takes a plan and a support system. This how-to guide is full of the top wisdom, tips, exercises, and success stories to inspire an old dream or create a new one.
Check out a teaser of what’s inside.


5 Lessons From Oprah on Living a More Meaningful Life